“Exactly 10 years ago this week, Bill Gates stepped down as chief executive of Microsoft, installing Steve Ballmer in his place,” Nicole Kobie reports for IT Pro. “That decade hasn’t been kind to Microsoft. In the past 10 years, Microsoft’s stock has dived 53 per cent – a slide that would have seen many other chief execs knocked from the position pretty quickly.”
“There’s nowhere else to start, really,” Kobie reports. “Sure, acting like a lunatic on stage hardly explains a 53 per cent stock prices spiral (one assumes, though maybe it does) but it’s hard to escape that one of the most enduring images of Ballmer is the big bald sweaty man hoarsely chanting ‘developers, developers, developers.'”
Kobie reports, “Or there’s the time, to mark Microsoft’s 25th anniversary, that he danced like a monkey across a stage for 45 full seconds (and looking like he pulls something halfway through it). Nearly a minute, as a monkey – this from the head honcho at one of the biggest, best known firms in the world.”
Kobie reports, “While dancing across stage like a monkey is one way to get attention, launching good products is probably the preferred method.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Don’t forget this one:
And no Ballmer retrospective would be complete without these two:
Excerpts from a BusinessWeek interview with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 12, 2004:
Steve Jobs: Apple had a monopoly on the graphical user interface for almost 10 years. That’s a long time. And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly. But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself? So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy… Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.
BusinessWeek: Is this common in the industry?
Steve Jobs: Look at Microsoft — who’s running Microsoft?
BusinessWeek: Steve Ballmer.
Steve Jobs: Right, the sales guy. Case closed.
Source: The Seed of Apple’s Innovation
As always, glasses up: May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft’s CEO for as long as it takes!